tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 12, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
10% say president obama. i'm ed schulze. for more information check out my radio website at wegoted.com, channel 167 noon till 3:00 monday through friday. chuck todd next on "hardball." we'll see you tomorrow night. >> by the power vested in california? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chuck todd in new york. sitting in for chris math to yous and trying not to make dillon's life miserable by talking too loud. guy marriage proponents in california are going to have to wait at least till next week. dozens of gay couples gathered outside of the city hall in san francisco today anticipating that a federal judge would lift his stay on gay marriage. but judge vaughn walker put his
decision on hold for one weekç still unless another court intervenes, gay marriage will be california law as of 5:00 p.m. next wednesday. we'll get into the details and the preliminary implications at the top of the show. plus, the forgotten war is quickly becoming remembered and not in a good way. our new nbc news "wall street journal" poll shows a significant drop in support for the effort and a huge increases in pessimism about the outcome of that war. nbc's david gregory is on the grounds with general david petraeus in kabul and joins us on the administration's attempts to resell this war to america one more time. also, is it good politics for democrats to bash former president bush heading into this fall's elections? republicans are warning them not to, even democrats are warning the administration not to do it. we've reached back into the archives and found examples of republicans running against jimmy carter for more than a decade right till it stopped working. how's this for a shot across the bow?
senate majority leader said this, i don't know how anyone of hispanic heritage could be a republican today, okay? in fact, while republicans seem to be headed towards big gains this fall, their stands on immigration and changing the 14th amendment could cost them the hispanic vote for generations. how the fastest growing dem graphic in this country could change politics forever. there's a new chapter in america's strangest long distance love affair between senator john mccain and snooki. let's begin with the judge's rule ong gay marriage in california. pete williams, justice correspondent. pete, explain why there is a one-week delay before gay marriage is legal in california. >> well, the simple question is we don't know because the judge didn't say. but the guess is that he wants to give a little time for the people who favor prop 8 who wanted the stay to stay in place to run over to the other courthouse in san francisco to the federal court of appeals and try to get them to put a hold on
gay marriages while this is sort of out in the appeals courts. i must say that this is sort of what the some of the lawyers involved in the case thought the judge mightç do. realizing all that's at stake here that, it wouldn't be good to have the on off switch repeatedly recycled while this works through the courts. this gives the prop 8 some time to get their own stay. his stay will expire august 18th. the question is whether another will come in in its place. >> the concern was somehow he would immediately legalize and then a week later somehow proponents. >> exactly. >> so that's the case. now, what is it that pro moneys of prop 8, what is going to be their argument for a stay? >> well, you know, i think this is frankly a little tricky for them because this case is now in sort of a weird posture. the state, it's a state law prop 8. it was enacted by the voters, it's part of the constitution, but the state itself rolled over and played dead here.
the governor and attorney general both thought it was unconstitutional and declined to defend it. it was the proponents of prop 8 who said to judge walker can we please defend it. he gave them the legal authority to do so. but there's some question whether they have the same legal authority to appeal it. that's thing one. thing two is generally speaking to get a stay you have to say to a court, if you don't do this, i and people like me will be irreparably harmed. in the federal courts that usually means some sort of concrete harm to you individually, not just the fact that you as a taxpayer don't like this or that you think this is an outrage. that's not generally enough. so it would be one thing for the state to say if you don't issue the stay, this will be an administrative burden for us. >> sure. >> but they're not the state. the prop 8 people have, you know, it's going to be a problem i think for them to show how they're irreparably harmed. certainly that's the basis on which the judge today said i'm going to dissolve the stay was an nxts week because he didn't
think the prop 8 folks could show harm to themselves. that's the trick is to come up with an argument that would persuade the 9th circuit. >> i'm confused. why is it that the attorney general of california or the, his office isn't forced to defend a referendum that was passed by the voters in the state? i mean, states that allow referenda, shouldn't they it be almost mandated to do çthis? >> their position is we're -- we take oaths of office to uphold the federal and state constitutions and their argument has been we cannot, we are legally duty bound not to defend the law that we believe is unconstitutional. >> that's how they get around it. >> right, we believe the governor and attorney general has said prop 8 was unconstitutional and that's why they didn't defend it. >> just very fast so the appeal made to, we assume made to somebody, it would be just one judge would decide whether to do the stay? >> no, three-judge panel. first thing you go to is
three-judge panel. luck of the draw so you don't know who you're going to get. >> pete williams on top of this for us. thank you very much. joe salmonie joins us now. first, are you happy about this court ruling, happy there is a stay? pete williams was making the argument that proponents have tried to get this law overturned wanted the weak long stay in order to force this, make sure there wasn't going to be an on/off switch. >> i'd be happy obviously if couples could be married in california today but at&t as pete pointed out, i think that jauj walker recognized just that, that there was the likelihood that at some point probably next week the 9th circuit would be hearing this question anyways. so this notion of people being married today being not married next week was something that the judge obviously took into consideration. i mean, the most important point here i think is that this is
going to continue to be a complicated and rocky road forward but that we certainly have the trajectory on our side. i was looking at a poll this morning that for the first time ever, majority of americans, 52% support marriage equality. >> let's pop it up. a cnn opinion research poll. 52%, the first time we've seen any reputable poll come out that showed a majority nationwide favoring gay marriage. should public opinion matter here? >> well, certainly. i mean, you know, i think that the road to marriage equal for our community really is a three-pronged. it is about moving this fight through the courts, which we are experiencing right now. it's about moving this fight through state legislatures which we have an opportunity to do this year in places like new york. nan minnesota. and and, of course, it's about hearts and minds andç moving public opinion which the cnn poll demonstrates. it all matters in terms of moving this kruntsd in embracing
full marriage equality for same-sex couples. what i think is important as this legal case moves forward and i think one of the great things about our community is that we've got the stamina and the determination to see this through. >> sure. >> we not lose sight of these other two challenges we have before us. >> i only say that on public opinion because there's been an argument and in fact on fox news sunday, ted olson, one of the two lawyers who is on the side of trying to overturn prop 8 was asked about this issue of the fact that basically it was public opinion in the state of california that said they wanted to ban same-sex marriage. here was ted olson's response to chris wallace. >> we do not put the bill of rights to a vote. 41 states once prohibited interracial marriages. so that in virginia, when the supreme court finally struck that prohibition down, the president's parents could not have been married. our fundamental rights, the part
of our constitution is the separation of powers and an independent judiciary. we ask judges to make sure that when we vote for something, we're not depriving minorities of their sconstitutional rights. that's what the judge did. >> let me go back, it was june 12th, 1967 that the supreme court struck down a virginia statute which at that time there were 16 states that banned whites from marrying nonwhites. and look at this poll because we were talking about public opinion and clearly public opinion had no influence on that supreme court. this is a gallup poll from 1968. do you approve or disapprove of interracial plarnlg. only 20% of the country then approved of it. 73% disapproved. so i guess my question to you, and i wasn't trying to set you up here, this was a case public opinion was squarely against the idea of interracial marriage and the courts completely ignored it. are you hopeful that will public opinion at least might have some influence on the supreme court or at this point, do you hope
public opinion is drowned out at this point? >> i think that it's an inevitability as this moves ]ices pay attention to the world around them and they certainly pay attention to shifting public opinion but as i mentioned, i think what they will also pay attention to as this case moves forward where in this country can same sex couples be married. if we're going to put more states into the pro marriage column be it minnesota or rhode island or new york or washington, then public opinion in those efforts certainly matters. >> let me ask you this. are you concerned, and i've talked to some folks in the gay rights community who are concerned that this case that david boies and ted olson, the super lawyer team here that's successfully got prop 8 overturned in the federal courts inevitably is going to go to the supreme court, that there is a concern, this is maybe too high risk and this court, you know, 80s a coin flip. it's going to be a 5-4 decision all depending on anthony kennedy
at this point. and if they uphold prop 8, it's going to be a generation, and it's going to set back the movement and the gay rights community to make gay marriage legal. >> well, when i was first asked this question, it was actually chris matthews on the show who asked me if i thought it was a good idea. i said the simple answer is it's a good idea if we win and bad idea if we lose. we are on this trajectory and i think one victory and one ruling in historic nature of the one we heard last week and again today sets us up for the next. so this is the trajectory we're on and the language and the sentiment that came out of last week's ruling and what judge walker to had to say i think really speaks a great deal to the prospects moving forward both in the ninth circuit and before the supreme court. >> i know there's efforts in massachusetts you believe could be a good way to fight the defense of marriage act and get that overturned.
where does that stand at this point? >> another case that is before the courts which would essentially undo one aspect of the defense of marriage act and allow federal benefits to flow to the state of massachusetts and effective little other states where there is marriage equality. a lot of people don't realize while you can be married in massachusetts and pay into something like social security for your entire life, an the end of your life, your married partner in massachusetts at this point still would not have access to those benefits. it's an attempt to overturn that restriction. >> joe solomonese, thanks for coming on "hardball." we'll see you another time. >> thanks, chuck. on the grounds in afghanistan. nbc's david gregory moderator of "meet the press" is there and will join us when we return for a gut check on how the war's going. he's already been interviewing general david petraeus, flying around afghanistan, getting a firsthand look himself and how just how is general petraeus going to resell this war to the american people. you're watching "hardball" only
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all right. a little update for you on that rod blagojevich corruption trial. the jury has only reached agreement on two of the 24 counts meaning they've got a long way to go before they reach a verdict. the jury has been deliberating for 12 days and today the judge in the case told them to go back and deliberate some more. there's no word what decision the jury reached on the two counts but legal analysts say the fact they've only reached consensus on two counts is good news for the defense. we'll see. hung jury coming? we'll finds out soon aybe. this is "hardball," back after this. one day, i'll park this in a spot reserved for me. it's got 26,000 miles on it now, but i'm gonna take it to a thousand million. [ male announcer ] when you own a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz, chances are they'll own it one day, too. which is why it undergoes such a rigorous inspection to meet our uncompromising standards. one day, i'm gonna drive this to vegas.
the interview that took place today. >> are you in lockç step with e president who will still stick to a july 2011 deadline to begin that transition? >> yeah, absolutely. he has been very clear on this i think. there was greater clarity even after the replacement and so for the. what the president very much wants from me and what we talked about in the oval office is the responsibility of a military commander on the ground to provide as best professional military advice. leave the politics to him. certainly i'm aware of the context within which i offer that advice. but that just informs the advice. it doesn't drive it. the situation on the ground drives it. >> all right. david gregory is live in kabul tonight. very interesting response there to your question there, david in, that he says he's aware of the politics of this. but that the president's supposed to handle that. he's going to be basically the chief military adviser to him on
the ground in afghanistan. is general petraeus realize he's sort of -- he's the president's way out of this war? >> well, before i address that question, let me just parse a little bit i think the importance of what we're hearing from general petraeus. for the first time we're hearing from him since he's assumed command. you heard what he just said, also what he didn't say. i asked him at another point whether or not he's trying to slow that washington clock down which is terminology that was used during the debate about the surge in iraq. and that's essentially what petraeus said then. we want to slow that washington clock down. i said is that what you're trying to do here? he said we're trying to show our decision makers that we're actually making some progress. if you coup that will with him saying here, look, the president is committed to beginning that withdrawal in july of next year, what i'm going to do is look at what's happening on the ground.
that will determine the advice i give him and then he's got to figure out the politics, he is saying this is a conditions-based withdrawal in his mind. that's the advice that heal give. so to your point, chuck, iç thk that what the general petraeus recognizes is that the great pressure that's on him is to demonstrate progress as a way of fending off that will pressure to accelerator a withdrawal of troops. and it is in that way similar to what he faced in iraq. >> well, that pressure seems to have only been ratcheted up whether it was wikileaks, whether it was -- it's been just the extra coverage of the deaths that we've seen in afghanistan. the afghanistan numbers in our most recent nbc "wall street journal" more or less confident the war in afghanistan is going to come to a successful conclusion. 68% that this thing could be a successful conclusion, i know general petraeus said he's
supposed to leave the politics to the president. i guess does he understand that maybe is he responsible for reselling this war to the american people? >> well, i think he does recognize that. and i think he's got a good piece of politician in him, as well. he understands the state craft involved in all of this as he moves forward. and it's very difficult because he doesn't have great deal of time and yet, the strategy he's pursuing requires a lot. it requires the time tofation build to, build a counter insurgency. it require ahost gorveths the afghan government to deliver itself. and at the same time for u.s. forces to do what they can do to actually make the country more secure to, deal somehow with the sanctuary problem in pakistan from wilattacks are launched. there's a lot of pieces to this. and i think what you're starting to hear from general petraeus and it will begin with our interview, his first since assuming command as i mentioned, it is to reframe what the goals
are, what success is. i asked him are we win org losing here. he said, we'll, we're making progress. that's winning. you know, american people have heard a lot about making progress. nine years in, that's very difficult to sell in this war if. >> and is he will aware that maybe the president's own national security team, look, this seemed to bite general mcchrystal, the person that general petraeus replaced, general mcchrystal couldn't handle the fact that there were people second-guessing him inç washington. it seemed to get under his skin. already we're seeing a lot of second-guessing again. this was in the "new york times," sort of anonymous quotes from august 1st. while several officials said mr. boem remain committed to the strategy he set out at end of last year, they concede the that the counter insurgency part of it had lagged. how is general petraeus managing the politics of this sort of himself with the diplomats who were frankly never 100% into the strategy from the first place, whether we're talking about vice president biden or even
ambassador eikenberry? >> well, it's very interesting. and i think on that particular point, general petraeus would be lightning fast in his response which is to say hey, look, if you're talking about counter-terrorism, that is a piece of the overall big idea which is counter insurgency. it's just a piece of the overall picture. so of course, we're going to do counter-terrorism. but that's not all you can do. what that really gets to is a bigger debate which is how much nation building can and should the united states be involved in in afghanistan. i've spoken to civilian officials here who say that's really the number of the debate right now. that debate goes on. and that assumes and gets to the point of how much karzai can deliver. is he going to crack down on corruption to, show results and governs here and have better government, something that we can leave the country to once security makes greater gains? that debate is going to go on. and i don't think it has been
completely resolved yet but i think one thing that general petraeus will be clear on is these things have to move together. fight the terrorists, fight the counter tirm but build the rest of it, as well. >> you were covering president bush closely during this point in the iraq war when general petraeus took over. what are you seeing similar in david petraeus to what did he did in iraq and what's different? >> it's have interesting. the point you made a moment ago, people taking shots at the strategy and at him. remember during the surge he did not have support from the chain of command. he had people up and down both on the civilian side and the military side questioning what he was doing. that's a big difference here even if he does get people questioning what he's doing. the conventional wisdom in the darkest days in 2006 before the surge happens is that the war was lost in iraq. that's similar here. i think in both çcases, what y hear general petraeus saying is look, let's push back this
notion of a deadline for withdrawal driving everything we're doing. let's try to create some space for some progress if we can take the eyes, the very close watching of this war, if we can divert people's attention a little bit, we can have a little space to do all the things we're trying to do which is to hand off something that's reasonable. he said before that the iraq model is something he'd like to see here, that that would be defining success, something that looks like iraq down the road. we may be a long away from that here. >> i know it's the middle of the night over there. david's full interview with general petraeus this sunday on "meet the press." thank you, david. up next, there's a new chapter in the strange long distance love affair between senator john mccain and naturally jersey shore's" snooki? that's next in the sideshow. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 what if every atm was free? tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no more $2, $3 fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no more paying to access your own money. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 it'd be like every atm in the world was your atm.
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all right. back to "hardball." time for the sideshow. first up, another chapter in america's new favorite frindship between senator john mccain and jersey shore's snooki. they've bonded over tanning bed taxes. when. >> aif got arrested last month for disorderly conduct, senator mccain will thoughts on that this week. >> i had a question i thought about on the way over. should snooki go to jail? or i have a question for our listeners. is snooki too good looking to go to jail? >> good looking. no. this has given a whole new meaning to our justice system. you got to admit. you got to admit. i'm kind of leaning towards. >> aif being too long good looking. i don't know. >> wow. next up, like father, not like son. here's what jeb bush today told today's "new york times"ing about congressman paul ryan's
ideas for the economy. he's not saying the world's going to be full of butter scotch sundaes. he's saying eat your broccoli and maybe you don't get to the eat at all for a few days. you don't get steak ever. one item definitely stands out when spoken by a bush. remember this? >> there are truckloads of broccoli at this very minute descending on washington. my family is divided. i do not like broccoli. and i haven't like it had since i was a little kid. and my mother made me eat it. and i'm president of the united states. and i'm not going to eat any more broccoli. for the broccoli vote out there, barbara loves broccoli. she's tried to make me eat it. she eats it all the time herself. so she can go out and meet the caravan of broccoli that's coming in. >> that was back in 1990. i guess that means jeb sides with his mom on this one. she tried to smooth things over with the broccoli folks back then. next up, birthday bash hfis
instantly infamous house floor whatever you want to call it this week, embattled congressman charlie rangel held his 80th birthday celebration last night in new york city. he's getting by with a little help from his friends. >> i know a few people couldn't be here tonight because as they tell it, either they had to get haircut unexpectedly or they were sure they'd have a make. but charlie, as you know, they were with you as long as they could be. >> don't turn your cameras off. don't put your notepads down. you have startedç and executed the political crucifixion, but stay tuned for the political resurrection. >> if only i had a path, you know, i've been to a lot of funerals where they work it had out, but this damn sure ain't no funeral, is it. >> there's some analogies. finally lockup. we just talked about governor
rod blagojovich's situation. here's other lockup headlines on our criminal crime blotter today. new york governor david paterson's close aide david johnson turned himself in to face assault charges. johnson's case played a role in paterson's decision not to seek re-election this fall. and out in arizona, former california congressman randy the duke cunningham who's halfway through his prison sentence for corruption, tells the san diego city beat he's teaching classes to fellow inmates and learning about prison life. he says "maybe that's why god put me in here to, bring about much needed prison reform." it's amazing what a little prison time does for people to suddenly become prison reform advocates. up next, president obama and the dradss are campaigning on the idea that the republicans would take the country back to the bush years. should the democrats bash bush? >> is that a good strategy? will it work? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] how can rice production in india,
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hello, i'm page hopkins. here's what's happening. georgia police say they have their suspect but still no motive in a string of 18 stabbings across three states that left five victims dead. 33-year-old israeli citizen was arrested in atlanta as he was boarding a flight to israel. in california, the federal judge who struck down a statewide ban on same sex marnlgz said weddings must wait till an appeals court ruling next wednesday. the jury in the corruption trial of rod blagojevich says after nearly two weeks of deliberations they've reached verdicts on only two of 24 counts. general motors posted its biggest quarterly profit in six years on the same day ed whit ache ser announced he's
retiring. and keep your eyes on the skies tonight for the annual light show known as the perseid meteor shower. it should be especially spectacular this year. now back to "hardball." haven't come out with a single solitary idea that is different from the policies that held sway for eight years before democrats took over. >> not a single policy difference that's discern from george w. bush. not one. so what they're really betting on is amnesia. welcome back to "hardball." that was president obama last week at a fund-raiser for illinois senate candidate alexei
ju giannoulias. the president frequently talks about the problems he inherited from the bush years and lately he and other democrats are ramping up bush talk. these are president obama the very same day at another fund raisener chicago. >> they have not come up with a single solitary idea that is any different from the policies of george w. bush. the policies that they had in place for eight years before we had a crisis. what they are betting on is amnesia. they are betting thatç you don remember that they were in charge all this time. >> all right. so is it smart for the president and his party to run against president bush again? savannah guthrie is white house correspondent and my co-host on some show called "the daily rundown" and lawrence o'donnell is the host of msnbc's new show debuting september 27th called "the last word." since he insists he's going to go get last word, savannah, i'm
giving you the first word. >> that's dangerous. >> there is a lot of chattering clash conversation about this issue. should the white house be running against bush again, should the democratic party be running against bush again. what does the west wing tell new response to that chattering class advice? >> well, look, they say you've got to look at this. it's a little more nuanced than people are saying. we're not trying to relitigate the 2008 election, we aren't trying to run against george w. bush per se. we're trying to say that this is a choice between the policies of the past and the policies of the future. they're trying to puts more of a spin on it that looks forward by saying you know, we don't have to guess what republicans want to do if given back control of the congress or the white house. we know because they don't have any new ideas. that is the argument that they're making. but it is a little bit nuanced. we have seen a sharper message out of this white house. last week, the two sound buys you played the president started saying george w. bush by name.
that isn't something we heard a lot of. he didn't do it when we were with him in texas in george bush's backyard. he didn't use the fax george bush. i asked a very senior official here, is this something overt, you're really trying to mention his name to make this argument more explicit. they said no, one aide said you're being two con sparorial. we're trying to frame this as a decision between the past and future. >> here's what karl rove wrote today in "the wall street journal." in many ways i've seen more conservatives talk about this than anybody else. he says this to save themselves in the midterm elections democrats are counting on selling two themes, the state of the economy is all george bush's fault and republican policies will take us backwards. nice try but it won't work. he's fak factually correct on the choice the democrats want to make in this. do you think it's good strategy? >> guys like rove have a vested interest in protecting bush which makes aç lot of sense.
i think this works depending on who the character is. i mean, we have seen these reachbacks before. >> right. >> they did it to jimmy carter for a long time but they tended to do it to jimmy carter as an object of ridicule, as a kind of societal agreement that he was an absurdist president. and it depends on how that character plays in the public memory. i'm not sure how that character, george w. bush is playing in the public memory right now. he has been an extremely dignified former president, leaving the stage and staying totally silent. >> not being a criticizer. >> when you see president obama make that choice to specifically use lis name, i'm not sure it's going to work. i'm not sure bush has served himself up this year in a way to make that work for the democrats. >> you brought up the jimmy carter stuff. let me show you, i got three clips here. republicans ran against jimmy carter for over a decade.
here is the keynote speaker at the 1984 convention, jeane kirkpatrick. >> jimmy carter looked for an explanation for all these problems and thought he found it in the american people. but the people knew better. it wasn't malaise we suffered from. it was jimmy carter. >> that's four years removed from carter. here's john mccain at 1988 republican convention eight years remove from jimmy carter. >> in this presidential race, george bush alone hats experience and the knowledge to continue the policy of a strong defense coupled with a willingness to negotiate. michael dukakis, like jimmy carter before him, clearly doesn't understand that. >> okay. successful re-election for republicans in '84 and '88. here's pat buchanan in 1992 at the houston convention. >> out of jimmy carter's days of
malaise, ronald reagan crafted -- ronald reagan crafted the greatest peacetime economic recovery in history.ç 3 million new businesses and 20 million new jobs. >> okay, lawrence be, to your point. it is a way to ridicule and belittle. now, finally by 1992, it didn't work and we haven't been hearing a lot of jimmy carter bashing. isn't this a case where as long as it's working democrats are going to keep using it. >> this is going to be the first test. can you reach back just those two years. you'll notice they were using that malaise quote. >> which he never said, by the way. >> there isn't, i'm not sure what the phrase would be for bush. i guess some sort of mission accomplished variant or something like that. but i think it's trickier to use this kind of xwlu on bush. >> savannah, to go to lawrence's point that they do walk that line and you brought up the texas stop where they seemed to
go out of their way not to mention bush by name almost as if the president thought it would have been rude. >> you get the feeling because actually he used almost precisely the same line, the one you played where in chicago he said george w. bush. he repeats the line. it's basically a stump speech but omitted bush's name in texas. so it did seem overt as a way that somehow in his backyard would be unseemly. the real question is when does the statute of limitations run out on bashing a predecessor,ing whether it's a republican or democrat? is this argument like a fine wine that gets better with time or is there a point when voters get sick of it? i think the line they're walking here is that poll after poll and chuck you know this better than anybody else will show right now americans do place more blame on bush for economic policies, certainly for the war in iraq than they do on obama. there's this reservoir of understanding that the polls reflect. if the president continue little harps on it, then you're walking into the territory where some
voters might be turned off saying is he whining, is he complaining. hey, you wanted this job. what are you going to do about it? i think that's the real threading of the needle that the white house is trying to do. >> since we've got to promote a show, i promised him the last word. it's in your contract. i understand that. we're going to hear the name bush a lot on policy arguments over the next three çmonths. the bush tax cuts and then of course, he's got his first book out coming up just after the election. does the fact that bush is going to be quote out there in the blood stream of the american political debate, does that change how the democrats should do this. >> i think it helps the democrats. if it book comes out soon enough it, makes it seem to make sense why they're talking about him again. this is an indication that the democrats don't think they have much. remember, this was the party that was -- they were promising us in february we're going to be running on health care. they're not running on health care. they're running on bush. >> all right. savannah guthrie and lawrence o'donnell, the lavendar word debuts monday september 27th.
savannah, i'll see you tomorrow. i promise i'm coming back to washington. we'll see you at 9:00 a.m. on "the daily rundown." >> you've been living on television. >> sleep is optional. up next, harry reid says he doesn't understand how anyone of hispanic heritage could be a republican? marco rubio has something to say about that, and whether republicans are turning off latino voters for a generation. that debate is next. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. bull market or bear, traders are always hungry for ideas. trading is all about strategy.
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i was able to spend money and know that i could pay it off later. it's just amazing. with blueprint, on his chase freedom card, stephen designed a plan to save money on interest. does your credit card have blueprint? i don't know how anyone of hispanic heritage could be a republican. okay? do i need to say more? >> well, that was -- welcome back to "hardball." that was senate majority leader harry reid at a campaign stop tuesday, pretty blunt comments there. didn't take long for those comments to get a fiery reaction from republicans. in florida senate candidate, a cuban american, marco rubio. let's listen. >> let me explain to harry reid why hispanics, americans of hispanic dissent would want to be republicans. it's a pretty simple concept. the number one issue in the
hispanic community in america is economic empowerment. it's the desire of people to leave their children better off than themselves. it's the reason why folks like my parents worked two jobs and sacrificed throughout their lives so i would have the opportunity to do things that they never could do. let me tell you why that was possible. it was possible because of god. it was possible because of their sacrifices. and it was possible because of the american free enterprise system. and the agenda that harry reid supports is trying to destroy and dismantle the american free enterprise system. and so that's why hispanics should be republicans. >> carlos gutierrez is the former congressman in a bush administration and melissa comarch is an executive director of voto latino. it seems as if we know that harry reid and marco rubio aren't debating, but having two separate arguments. harry reid is making the argument about immigration with hispanics and marco rubio is basically not wanting to talk about the immigration debate and
instead talking about other reasons why hispanics should be republicans. but given the immigration debate and where it is right now, where do you see harry reid's comments under that -- through that prism? th as a hispanic american and as a republican, i actually reacted to senator reid's comments in a similar fashion. and i found it to be quite insulting. what he was saying to me, what i heard is hispanics can't make it on their own without the help of big government programs. that's what i heard. and i found it, very frankly, to be an insult. in terms of immigration, i think democrats, no question, have the rhetoric on immigration. but they have done nothing. president obama promised reform in his first year.
i think he's given one speech. the reality is that the democrats find as much problems with an immigration reform bill as republicans do. the problem is the perception is that the democrats are in favor and the republicans are against. >> maria, wiere senator reid's comments a little bit offensive? >> i think it's silly. i think we can all agree that already 46 million latinos in this country, some are democrats, some are republicans, and some are undecided. and i think what he was trying to say, what is the republican doing by marginalizing the latino community by speaking with such awful rhetoric and divisive rhetoric. an example is the arizona law that condoned racial profiling, which is why a judge gutted that language. because he was trying to say, why are they dividing a growthigrowth i growing voting bloc when it's not smart. karl rove has been trying to
cultivate the latino vote for a long time. we're a new bloc, sometimes we're republican, sometimes we vote more democratic as a swing vote, and how do you cultivate it? and i think fundamentally the latino community is squeezed on two sides. one, marco pointed out very well as did the secretary, we have a really high unemployment rate and the highest foreclosure rate. so how do we -- but at the same time, we have a republican party who's basically saying, you know what, it's your fault. and it has very little to do, i think, with immigration, but much more with the rhetoric and the tone that's really affecting the latino çcommunity. >> i've got to squeeze in a break and we'll be right back. right back with carlos gutierrez and maria kumar about republican efforts to talk about the 14th amendment and re-amend it, if that's going to hurt them in the long-term. [ whistling ]
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most americans are offended that you could buy a visa come over your head, come to america, and leave, and you get citizenship through that process. i don't think that makes sense. >> there's a constitutional provision in the 14th amendment that has been interpreted to provide that if you are born in the united states, you are a citizen, no matter what. the question is, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for their illegal behavior? >> i do think that it's time for us to secure our borders and enforce the law and allow this conversation about the 14th amendment to continue.
>> welcome back to "hardball." carlos gutierrez was with the bush administration. maria kumar is with voto latino. as a republicanç and as a hispanic, secretary gutierrez, is this a conversation that should go on the 14th amendment and birthright citizenship? >> i find this -- and actually, i'm a great fan of senator graham and senator kyl, who by the way worked very hard on the 2006 immigration reform bill. i find this to be a great distraction. and all these adjacent fires and adjacent debates that are going on, the arizona law, the lawsuit against the arizona law, the 14th amendment, the problem we have to solve is to get immigration reform. once we get immigration reform, that is going to be our best enforcement method. our best enforcement
opportunity. but i do find all of these different debates very distracting and until the president decides to confront the issue of immigration through real reform, we're just going to continue having these problems and these debates. >> maria, does the president need to step in here, because this is getting out of hand, this talk of the 14th amendment? >> i think the rhetoric is dangerous, as secretary gutierrez as mentioned. it's dangerous and it's not fruitful. and we need real solutions. but he mentioned two senators, kyl -- both kyl and mccain, where are they? lindsey graham, up to june, he was part of that conversation. and unfortunately, they need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, both the republicans and the democrats need to roll up their sleeves. the fact that there are 60 democrats there that have the votes, that's a problem. >> all right. i have to leave it there. secretary gutierrez, and maria teresa kumar, i wish we had more time. we have to do this again. right now